A federal jury awarded our 63-yr old client $300,000 in a federal age discrimination this past Friday, January 26, 2018, answering without hesitation “Yes” to the verdict question “Did the Defendant fire Mr. Young because of his age?” The jury awarded $230,000 for lost wages and an additional $70,000 for the impact the termination had on our client. Marie Mattox in our firm handled the trial. The employer was the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA).
Our client was 61 at the time of his firing. In the period leading up to his firing, his role inside AHCA had been sharply diminished. The lawsuit alleged that there wasn’t, and couldn’t have been, a legitimate basis for his firing. Indeed, our client alleged, “[He] received stellar performance reviews and was never reprimanded or ever threatened with discipline during his employment with Defendant. He was never criticized for his performance and was told that he was doing a good job even up to the time that he was fired. Just one week prior to his termination, Plaintiff received a team award for a project that he worked on.”
The lawsuit further alleged that a high-ranking AHCA official made a number of openly-discriminatory comments, including that:
- AHCA could replace him with someone half his age;
- The agency could find someone younger to do his job with as much knowledge and experience;
- That the agency should replace many older workers with younger employees;
- That employees in their 60’s and 70’s were too old to do their jobs well.
The twelve-person jury took a dim view of the agency’s comments, and spent little time deliberating before giving a collective 24 thumbs down to AHCA’s explanations.
As I have said many times, age discrimination is the one kind of discrimination everyone will eventually experience because it cuts across all ages, races and genders. It’s only been a few months since a jury found another large employer guilty of discriminating against my client on the basis of age.
I specialize in employee rights – I do not represent any employers – and I help employees across Florida and Georgia. If you have a question about your rights as an employee, call me directly at 800-663-7999. I can answer most questions in a free, confidential phone consultation.